Cline Buttes (central Oregon)
The Cline Buttes Area Plan EA will be out shortly, Supposed to be around 200 pages. This will be addressing motorized recreation in the area west of Redmond, OR and east of Sisters along Hwy. 126. Due to private ownership in the area and other factors, motorized will be taking a big hit on this one, even though a couple of clubs in the area have worked for years out there. Contact the Prineville BLM office to get either a hard copy or a CD, ot to be notified when it is released to the website. Need to get comments in on it to try and keep some motorized use out there, especially for class II.
Thank you Art, I got my letter on this yesterday.
The Cline Buttes area is located in the Deschutes County 4-Wheelers area and we have been actively involved in this project since its inception. In fact, Randy Drake has been fighting the BLM over incremental closures for decades. These incremental closures have caused us to refer to the area as “Cline Flats” rather than “Cline Buttes”.
We have had numerous site visits with the BLM, COHVOPS and State Parks. Several of our club members were also members of the BLM working group in the initial development of this plan.
This area was analyzed during the development of the Upper Deschutes Resource Management Plan and was designated as a motorized recreation area. It has proceeded to site specific development with this Cline Buttes Recreation Area Plan.
As is typical of the BLM, much of the "designated motorized recreation area" is slated for closure to motorized vehicles and is planned to be developed for hiking, horses and bicycles. They have heard our objections every step of the way.
We are not hopeful that an acceptable plan will come out of this. This plan has taken the BLM three years to write, several hundred thousands of dollars of OHV funds and numerous BLM staff changes to complete. They have been difficult to work with, at one point we had to file a Freedom of Information Act form to get info. During a site visit with the BLM, we reviewed about a half dozen possible play areas and trail features connected by several miles of trails of various difficulty levels. At the end of the meeting, the BLM member looked at us and said, “Now pick just one.” This area is over 32,000 acres and he wanted to give us one rock pile!
The sound of our objections could be heard throughout the state!! We have heard rumor that they may have reinstated some of our trails proposals back into the plan, but we shall see.
When we get our copy of the EA, our land use committee will review it and post a list of talking points for people to use in their responses. We will post these talking points here. As the local, actively involved users group, we would appreciate your assistance on this issue.
Thanks Patti, I look forward to your comments and input on it, so that I can brief the RAC, as well as put in comments as the RAC rep and my own personnal ones. I know the club has been working the area for at least the last 30+ years, along with the old Redmond club.
Thank you, Art, we appreciate the help of Region 5. Region 6 has broken our region down into smaller areas and assigned a local club to handle land use matters in that area. I am sure the other regions do the same thing, it just makes sense. We have had problems in the past with the responsible club and region advocating one thing and a couple of people advocating and writing letters with an opposing viewpoint. Thus, the local club now has the responsibility of developing talking points for the use of others so that we can present a united front. So we welcome the suggestions and assistance of all the regions and clubs and will keep you posted as Deschutes County 4-Wheelers and Region 6 develop a response.
The BLM will be releasing the EA for the Cline Buttes Recreation Area Plan on Friday, October 16th. When we get our copy of the EA, our land use committee will review it and post a list of talking points for people to use in their responses. We will post these talking points here. As the local, actively involved users group, we would appreciate your assistance on this issue.
Explaining Cline Buttes Recreation Area Plan
Explaining Cline Buttes Recreation Area Plan
Please write as much or as little as you have time for. Writing in your own words will make a larger impact than copying mine.
Any questions call me Randy Drake at 541 419 9952.
Cline Buttes is important to the OHV community. What we get is what we put into it. If we sit on our hands and keep silent we will net not one thing. Writing until your fingers cramp will net a result of more than we have. The last two paragraphs of the long letter explain why I am so passionate about the area and the EA.
Prineville BLB phone number: 541-416-6700
Two Sample letters include in either:
Your phone number
City and state and zip
The days date
U. S. Bureau of Land Management
Cline Buttes Recreation Area Plan
3035 NE 3rd Street
Prineville, OR 97754
Attention: Molly Brown
(Letter one the Short Version please write at least this muchin your own wording)
I and my family use the Cline Buttes area to operate my Class II vehicle. With many exceptions I favor Alternative Four. Alternative Four does not offer a true 4x4 experienced. I would expect an OHV area which states it includes all three classes of OHV’s to offer a substantial Class II trail. Roads and shared trails are not Class II trails. If Class I or Class II can go down the trail it is not a 4x4 trail. There are no trails that require the use of 4-wheel drive at the present time. Only two small areas proposed for climbing around on rocks is not adequate. A 4x4 trail goes up and down trails, across canyons, large boulders that 16 inch tires would hang up on, loose, sandy stretches of soils, etc… Your team at the Prineville BLM needs to get into contact with a 4x4 club to understand what a 4x4 trail is. Where are the hill-climbs to the tops of the Buttes for the scenic part of our outing? Per the Upper Deschutes Resource Management Plan (UDRMP) the Cline Buttes Recreational Area was supposed to be an OHV area. Why are there not more miles of trail for OHV’s? Why are OHVs required to stay on trails if the non-motorized user can go cross country? I love going cross country also!
Camping is very important to my family and me. Why is there no camping in Alternative Four for OHV’s? Please allow camping in this area for OHVs also, camping with access to Class II trails.
Please reconsider these alternatives and redirect Molly Brown to create this area as true OHV area with no consideration for Non-motorized use as was directed in the UDRMP.
This area should be an OHV area primarily with some non-motorized use. It is not being planned as a primary area for OHV but is being planned for just the opposite. We have not one mile of Class II trails in this plan. We have not one mile of Class II trails within the Prineville BLM Lands. Planning a recreational area and not including us is discriminating against us who originally had been assigned this area by Prineville BLM. This plan is not right, fair or adequate.
Please create at least 20 or more miles of true Class II trails within this plan.
Thank you for allowing me to comment.
Your name and family,
(Letter two the Long Version please write in you own words)
There has been a mistake made in the Cline Buttes Recreation Area Plan and Environmental Assessment. This needs to be corrected ASAP. All vehicles entering BLM lands not on pavement are termed Off Highway Vehicles thus the short version OHV There is but OHVs that enter pubic lands as they leave the pavement.. They are divided into three distinct groups. Class I are more than two tires and weigh less than 800 pounds and are narrower than 50 inches motorized vehicles. Class III is two-wheeled motorized vehicles. Class II is the largest class of OHVs. They are all motorized vehicles over 800 pounds, wider than 50 inches and include jeeps, pickups, passenger cars, buggies, trucks, 4x4 buggies and yes SUV. It does not matter whether they are filled with camping gear, hunting rifles, include a bed full of bikes, pull a horse trailer or whatever… they are Class II motorized vehicles. All Class II vehicles must be managed; not a select group of Class II users or that would be discrimination.
All motorized vehicles using a specified trail system for OHVs will have an OHV permit on it or it cannot enter onto the trail system. If the trail system includes OHVs without permits then that section of road cannot be counted as OHV trails. Exclusively just the miles of trail which require an OHV permit can be counted as Class II trails. Class II trails will require a state issued OHV permit and be built to Class II user specification which will provide a true Class II experience. This does not happen on a road. Roads are not Class II trails!
My family and I use a class II vehicle (or …) on BLM lands in Central Oregon. This is my preferred way to access public lands. I am a member of (your club) and a member of Region 6 of the Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association (Blue Ribbon, United Four-wheel drive etc…)
I have read and talked amongst my friends and fellow Class II users. While we are not in favor of a single Alternative; I am in general favor of Alternative Four with the following exceptions. I want these exceptions to be included within Alternative Four and to become the final decision.
1. Our history of use is being considered but we need to be working with you hand in hand with what trails we want in this entire area. It is apparent to us that your staff has not read or is not following the guide lines set forth in National Management Strategy for Motorized Off-Highway Vehicle use on Public Lands Manual. It is important that the people working on the Cline Butte Recreation Area Plan and Environmental Assessment read and understand the content within this manual as its purpose is to educate the BLM how to work with us; the OHV community.
2. We want access to the tops of the buttes for their scenic beauty and for the trail experience of going up the steep slopes. Many of the OHV users have no way to access these buttes except in a motorized vehicle. The lack of your understanding this is apparent. OHV’s accessing the one and only butte which currently has OHV access to the top in Central Oregon is the Cline Buttes. Your belief that only pedestrian, mountain bikers and horse back riders have a need to ascend this butte is unfounded and in error. Your belief that the above three are the only ones who enjoy the endless panoramic views is unfounded and is not correct. We of the OHV community appreciate the climb to the top and the breath taking views just as much as the non-motorized users. Per your own statements within these pages why have we used these trails to gain access to these Buttes for over 50 years? Is it not the same as theirs? The simple thrill of the climb and the gorgeous, breathtaking views of Central Oregon. Which is the same today as yesterday and it is the person ascending the butte in what ever manner and each enjoying the butte in their own way. All recreationalists have to learn to share Cline Buttes. Motorized and non-motorized alike and there cannot be any exceptions. Discrimination within the Prineville BLM has to stop. All user groups will be allowed to access these buttes as they recreate sharing trails.
3. The Tower Road should never be maintained beyond its current state. In fact pictures need to be taken so all will know the condition of the road and no further improvements should be allowed. This trail as per the map needs to have an additional loop trail to the top of the FAA butte and down alongside the Oregon State properties looping the two buttes together as a shared trail for all users. This is the best of the best and to exclude any particular group of users from this trail would be discriminative against that group of public land users. Many of the OHV users would have no other means to access this area except in an OHV.
4. As we are being consider within this plan as needing the most trails and the largest group of users we should have the majority of the area. Our riding area is ashamedly to small. The mileage of trails for class II needs to be doubled and the mountain bikers and pedestrians trails should be the less than a quarter of what it is.
5. Areas closed to us in the Upper Deschutes Resource Management Plan (UDRMP) includes the Matson Area, Ochoco Reservoir area, Prineville Reservoir area, Eagle Rock area, Lower Crooked River area, Chimney rock area, Taylor Butte area, Powell Buttes area, Grizzly Butte area, Combs Flat area, Smith Rock area, Steamboat Rock area, Tumalo recreation area, Horse Butte area etc… these areas set aside that OHV’s would not be allowed in. Tens of thousands of acres set aside for non-motorized activities. We the motorized community would have but five areas one of which was the Cline Buttes area. Why are there this many non-motorized trails being put inside of our motorized area. These non-sharing groups such as mountain biking, pedestrians and horse back riding trails should not be allowed in our OHV area! Yes we thought a few trails of this type would be within this area but not of this magnitude. This per the UDRMP was the reason for closing OHVs out of the other areas and we were told at meeting after meeting the Cline Buttes area would be primarily for OHVs. Instead of doing what you said; (at these meeting) you have done the opposite. The miles of trails within these pages are almost doubled for the non-motorized uses. Is this not discrimination against the OHV community; then what is it?
6. My wife and I have used other BLM lands from here to Wyoming. We have used BLM lands as far south as Bullhead City, AZ and into Utah as far north as Moab and no where is there the lack of user sharing the same trail as there are within these pages. In the entire list above these places the users are sharing the same trails. Only in this book is there so much emphasis put on users of public lands not wanting trails to be shared. Why is the Prineville BLM allowing this to happen on public lands is not understandable?
7. The bottom line here; lands previously set aside for non-motorized activities should be being used and leave the Cline Buttes open for the motorized hill climbs that they are famous for. All other buttes you have closed in the UDRMP leave this one butte open for OHVs it is the right thing to do.
8. While in Central Oregon camping is very important to me and being able to camp near the trail heads is essential. In Alternative Two the Barr North and Buckhorn are the least of the camping areas that need to be included. My main concern is why a much nicer camp site further from the highway is not being established on both sides of the highway. Trail heads are for unloading and loading rigs and a camp ground should be found for quiet camping with access to trails. Camping within sight of a busy highway is not very relaxing and is actually dangerous for families with small children. There is a need for a family friendly campground with restrooms.
9. There is no Class II trails; just shared trails. I believe you do not understand our recreation which requires 4-wheel drive. If Class I and III are using the trail it is quite obvious the trail is inadequate for a true meaningful outing for my family and I. I would expect at least 28 miles of Class II trails only within this area which requires my 4x4 to be engaged. If not the miles cannot be counted as Class II user trails. There are thousands of miles of flat dusty roads within Central Oregon but they are not Class II trails! We need Class II trails and areas to recreate on and none of the alternatives offer a true Class II experience. Simply stated if a bike or quad can ride it; it is not a Class II trail.
10. The ODOT pit needs to be managed for OHVs. It is very close to town and a quick trip out for an hour or two is very important to us all. Being this close to town it would be easy to police. No shooting allowed in this area. As the pit continues to grow ODOT needs to work with the OHV community and leave as much open as possible for us. The gate needs to be as close to the pit as possible leaving the used up portion of the pit open to us. The gate needs to move as the mine increases in size; allowing us access at all times.
11. Keep in mind the ODOT pit area (not necessary the pit itself) was supposedly a play area for all ages and was suppose to include an area for young riders separate from the pit and would never be closed. The gate has to move right up to the entrance of the open mine not way back on Barr Road. The gate at Barr Road would close off to much area from OHV use and this pit is used the most by OHV users in the Cline Buttes area.
12. All trails for OHV’s use will be posted “operating a motorized vehicle on this trail requires an OHV permit”. All who do not comply should be sited. NO Right Of Way (ROW) will be a part of an OHV trail system. If we are not allowed on pedestrian, mountain biker trails, and equestrian trails then they should not be allowed on our OHV trails unless they have in hand an OHV permit. This is not negotiable. Trails will be open in an OHV trails system only to those with an OHV permit; period with no exceptions. It is not just to open our trails to any user but close us out of their trail systems entirely. This is simply discrimination against OHV users on public lands managed by the Prineville BLM. It also allows the other users to have use of the entire area and they will close us out one foot at a time.
13. The monies for OHV trails come from gas tax and the state OHV permits. They can be used for creating trails, educating OHV trail users, maintenance of trails and policing of OHV trails only. We will be watching that our monies will not be used for closing us from other lands or trails but utilized on the OHV trails only.
14. Grazing should be allowed as grazing has been an important part of fire management. It is my opinion that the permittees should be allowed to graze livestock free as more benefit comes from grazing than credit is given. Grazing on public lands should be free and fence fixing should be on the tax payers. Cattle guards rather than gates should be provided again from the tax payers. No gates allowed in OHV areas!
15. No trees or shrubs should be cut now or ever. In this case every tree and shrub will help to aid in air quality. They will help keep the dust down. The noise level will be lessened by each tree and shrub left to stand. For each tree left will be a greater barrier between rider and other users. Every tree and shrub left will be a greater barrier between all wildlife and people. If one user cannot see or hear the other their experience is heightened by that amount. I do not support any trees or shrubs being removed by any method in the Cline Buttes area. Do not forget the OHV user appreciate the old growth junipers and will assist in any way we can to making sure they all stay alive.
16. Decommissioning of roads, ways, routes or play areas need to be examined by the OHV community and a joint decision of all involved will be the final factor in closing or being left open. It is our contention from previous closures that the Prineville BLM does not have the knowledge in this matter. The Prineville BLM has closed more great trails than they have left open due to their lack of OHV knowledge. Class II users have suffered the most in these closures with no consideration by the Prineville BLM.
17. All ROW roads should be the responsibility of the land owner. Neither the public nor the BLM should provide any monies for the private land owners ROW through public lands. ROWs cannot be counted as OHV trail. Roads are roads and cannot be counted as trails as they do not provide Class II user satisfaction!
18. ROW for power lines and public utilities should be incorporated into OHV trails as many of these have many (corridors) side areas that could be used for Class II extreme trails. These ROWs for energy companies are required to be vegetation free and OHV travel would aid in that.
19. Instead of closures on the buttes and areas close to private lands: post speed limits. In other words “no wave” rules that would be on land. For instance on the buttes; ten miles per hour. Along a private section of land or lands of questionable soil integrity a speed of 5 miles per hour. In areas where pedestrians and horses frequent a decibel reading of 84 and a speed limit could be established. These rules are already being applied in other OHV shared use areas and work very well.
20. There will be no cross country travel by any users. Pedestrians have for centuries used cross country travel for hunting and scaring up game. This cross country travel by pedestrians with or without dogs unleashed is not to be allowed in this area which is supposed wildlife habitat area. I personally use my unleashed dog hunting upland wild game and fully understand this cannot be allowed. All travel whether motorized or non-motorized will be allowed only on trails. What is the sense of a managed area with trails if only OHV’s are expected to stay on trails?
21. We the OHV community enjoy wildlife along our trails. Trail runs without wildlife is like and outing at the beach without water. Your team needs to go out on a Class II outing and see first hand how we effect wildlife. We enjoy watching all kinds of birds, reptiles and mammals just like the non-motorized users. Do not separate us from wildlife and other natural things. That is what families are out doing while operating their vehicles on 4x4 trails.
Members of Region 6 of the Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association have been operating their vehicles in this area since before our organization was created. Since 1953 we have used these buttes operating brush buggies and flat fender Willies. We used this area before there was a word in the dictionary for dirt bike, quad, mountain bike before riding horses for pleasures and pedestrians walking about on public lands were a sport. This has been our area before Eagle Crest and we had permission form Everett Thornburg to ride his lands as we wished. However we had to promise not to run the cows over. I ran these lands decades before ever seeing a dirt bike attempting to climb these buttes. My club has climbed these buttes for three decades far before the first mountain biker arrived in Central Oregon. We have a written history of using the Cline Buttes area and not a single mile of Class II trail is drawn out that is a true 4x4 trail. Our hill climbs have not been incorporated into a single sentence within the Cline Buttes Recreation Area Plan. This is our area; Prineville BLM had set it aside decades ago for 4X4 use. Why has the Prineville Bureau of Land Management left us entirely out? You have left possibly two areas open that could be used by us in Alternative Four; but no trail system. Why?
The Members of Region 6 (Redmond Four Bangers, Deschutes County 4-Wheelers, Strawberry Hill 4-Wheelers, Klamath Falls 4-Runners, Sunshine 4-Wheelers, Rough Mountain 4-Wheelers, Roseburg 4-Wheelers, Umpqua Timber Cruisers etc…) have held two giant clean ups at the Cline Butte area with the Prineville BLM. We have signed the Cline Buttes with signs provided by the Prineville BLM providing us access to the tops of Cline Buttes. Recently we worked with the Prineville BLM for over three years on these projects specific to the Cline Buttes. We the Deschutes County 4-Wheelers have attended every meeting put on by the Prineville BLM since the early 80s. I do not understand the lack of Class II trails within this plan after all these years. I would expect miles of trails that required 4x4 to be engaged. A trail system of 20 miles or more with areas of extreme 4x4 along side from time to time would be appropriate within an OHV area for all three classes of OHV’s. It is not sharing the trail that bothers me as much as being all but exclude from this plan. Not a single mile of 4x4 trails, no hill climbs, no sandy stretches of trail to hinder us, no boulders in the trail bigger than a 16 inch tire, no play areas, and only a remote possibility of two areas with seasonal closures in the canyons. We were the first users in the BLM lands in the Cline Butte area and we have the least. Why?
Thank you for allowing me to comment on the Cline Butte Recreation Area. I am partially in favor of Alternative Four with the above 20 exceptions. Please include me in all meetings dates, updates of the EA and for the Final Decision.
Sign your name
Be sure to include spouse name and children if they are not writing their own letters
(Can include E-mail and phone number)
If you are not completely bored yet the complete EA is at http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/prineville
Please take time to write a letter in favor of Class II and Alternative Four. If you are not in favor of flat, dusty roads say so as that is what we will get without your written comments. The dead line is December the 5 which is only days away. Please write!!!!!!!!! Randy Drake
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